Monday, June 12, 2023

Free TV

One of the really neat things about streaming is the amount of free content available.

I may need to pause for a minute and remind the gentle reader that "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch." If you always keep in mind TANSTAAFL, then you'll be okay.

Free content usually (always) means ad-supported. If you don't want commercials on your content, this post isn't for you. But, if you can put up with some commercials, read on.

There are many free services available, and they advertise hundreds of free streaming channels. And while they're truthful about that, the reality is that most of the streams are the same, regardless of service.

For example, if you took five services that offered 300 channels, how many total channels would you have? Trick question, because the answer is not 1500 (5 x 300) because all five probably have the same 300 channels. There may be a handful on one service that is not on the others, but it won't be many.

Now we have two drawbacks: duplicate content across services, and commercials. You were already okay with commercials, or you would have stopped reading when I said to. So the duplication of services is the thing.

Is it okay? Well, yeah, probably. If there is a channel that one service has that really means a lot to you, then it's simple: use that service. If that's not the case, then what it really boils down to is: which interface do you like the best?

I like some of the interfaces, and I hate others. The ones that irritate me and that I don't use are those that automatically play content and won't let me change a setting to stop it. I will never never never never never want any service to automatically play content. Never. If the service insists on doing that, I insist on not using the service. Simple as that.

So what are the best services? Well, that's subjective, of course. But here are the ones I like, or think are worth considering:

  • Plex
  • Freevee
  • Sling/Freestream
  • Roku Channel
  • Pluto TV
  • Tubi
  • Xumo Play
  • Crackle
  • Local Now
  • Filmrise
  • Stirr
  • Redbox

Most of these are pretty much the same thing. 100-400 channels of free streaming content. Local Now and Stirr have local TV content, mostly news and weather.

I do not like that Xumo Play, Local Now, Stirr, and Redbox automatically play content when launched. They would be a good one, in my opinion, if they did not auto-play.

Filmrise doesn't have live/linear content -- it's all on-demand -- but it is a good source for free ad-supported content. The others are pretty much the same. Some offer more content, but more isn't always better. They're all good. The ones I use least are the ones that auto-play.

My Streaming Life has a lot of free ad-supported television, and these services are some good ones.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome. Abusive or off-topic comments will be removed.